K&M Associates®

Profile

For over 45 years, K&M Associates® has provided great quality costume jewelry as well as graphics, packaging, and merchandising to its customers. In 2006, K&M became one of the few costume jewelry companies to be CTPAT certified by U.S. Customs and Border Protection of the Department of Homeland Security.

IT Challenge

K&M faced two challenges in managing its IT department. The first problem centered around the inability to track end-user help requests. With no help desk in place, end users had no formal means to ask for assistance. Often, problems were not resolved and it was impossible to hold technicians accountable. It was also impossible to develop Service Level Agreements (SLAs) with the end users since no one had any idea how many trouble tickets the organization had generated.

The second issue that needed to be addressed was with Asset Management, specifically with patching remote and mobile machines. With users traveling the world, it is important for the IT staff to keep computers current and protected. K&M had tried to solve this problem with Microsoft SUS but was left unimpressed because of its complexity and inability to protect machines off the corporate network.

Solution

To solve these problems, K&M turned to the TriActive Desktop Management Suite™ (DMS) in March of 2005. DMS is the comprehensive solution that encompasses the full spectrum of systems management solutions. The easy-to-use, fully integrated, common user-interface allowed K&M to address both of their problems with one solution. Within two days, K&M deployed the solution to its three U.S. facilities.

Value

DMS is used daily by the K&M IT staff. Technicians are able to support both local and remote users and close an average of 200 tickets per month. End-user satisfaction has significantly improved because they now have a process to request help and an expectation for timely assistance set by the introduction of SLAs. Management has also used the Help Desk ticket tracking to meet Sarbanes-Oxley requirements by producing monthly reports on failures within the IT infrastructure. These reports assure management that these failures are tracked and addressed in a timely manner.

The ability to track hardware and software assets is an additional benefit that K&M realized after working with DMS. They used the comprehensive software reports to easily pass a software audit. Specifically, they generated a report showing all available and used hard drive space on their servers to determine the requirements for a tape back-up solution. Having this level of detailed information available quickly and accurately allows for more sound business decisions.

The most valuable part of DMS for K&M was the ability to centrally deploy and report on the results of their Microsoft patch deployments. The IT staff no longer has to visit each computer nor is the onus placed on the end user to keep current. "DMS has provided a useful and intuitive way for us to manage the multitude of Microsoft patches," said Joseph Bentley, Director of IT. "Deployment of patches to both local and remote users has become an essential part of keeping our assets up-to-date."